The Anglican Diocesan Development and Relief Organization (ADDRO) of the Tamale Diocese has launched a comprehensive interventionist campaign programme against domestic violence at Binaba, one of its project areas.
The campaign against domestic violence is under its Gender and Development Programme, which is dotted in four districts including Bolgatanga Municipal, Bongo, Bawku West and Talensi-Nabdam districts.
In an address to launch the programme, the Bawku West District Coordinating Director, Mr. Vincent Ajato, called on spouses to make time to address domestic violence related issues with mutual trust, understanding and tolerance.
He said situations where spouses resort to violence in seeking redress for minor family issues should be condemned outright because wanton abuse of women and children is not only a crime against humanity but also unacceptable and criminal, punishable by law under the domestic violence act.
Mr Ajato called on stakeholders such as chiefs, opinion leaders, religious leaders and teachers to spread the message against domestic violence and said the campaign against the phenomenon is a multi-faceted one which calls for all hands on deck to eliminate it completely from society.
He commended ADDRO for its development programme in the district and said the assembly would not hesitate in responding to calls for support from ADDRO if it is capable.
An official of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice, (CHRAJ), Mr. Felix Assibi, who presented a paper on "Domestic Violence and the Law" said domestic violence in families is not limited to only the battery of women, but that child abuse whether verbal or physical, abusive and offensive words against partners, among host of unhealthy grudges in the family constitute elements of domestic violence.
The Programme co-ordinator for Gender and Development at ADDRO, Mrs. Esther Amoako, said reports by the Gender Studies and Human Rights Documentation Centre, a non-governmental organization, showed that one out of every three women in Ghana has experienced physical beatings in their relationships before. Twenty per cent of women interviewed have been sexually abused by their husbands in their marriage relationships.
She said the trauma women go through when they are abused is so alarming that there should be several interventions to nib the problem in the bud.
“What is even more dehumanizing is that 33 per cent of the women interviewed were prevented from speaking to their fellow women while 20 per cent were prevented from seeing family members and other relations.”
Mrs. Amoako said it was for these reasons that ADDRO is determined to reduce the incidences of domestic violence in its working areas through comprehensive and intensified educational campaigns.
To achieve this, she said, the programme would work in collaboration with stakeholders such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Chiefs and the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the police service.